Fermented Ketchup recipe

When I started making fermented foods, I dove right into making all the things. I loved the idea that for thousands of years, this was how people preserved their harvest.

I’m often encouraging my patients to increase probiotic foods in their diet but am sometimes faced with comments of “but I hate sauerkraut!” Or “but I can’t eat dairy”. I get excited when I can share with people the fact that there are LOTS of options. You don’t have to like sauerkraut to enjoy the plethora of fermented foods.

Most people like ketchup and my guess is you’re probably looking for a way to “sneak” some probiotic foods into your kids diet too, am I right?

The way I’ve made my fermented ketchup over the years has evolved but this is the way I enjoy it best. I use either sauerkraut brine (sometimes kimchi brine) or whey (liquid runoff from yogurt) as the probiotic culture. You can use some from store-bought fermented veggies or you can purchase the brine separately from your natural foods market, make sure they are labeled “raw” or “probiotic” and are from the refrigerated section.

fermented ketchup

Fermented Ketchup


  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed

  • 4 tbsp sauerkraut brine or whey

  • 1/4 cup raw honey

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp ground clove


  1. Stir all ingredients into a pint-sized jar and blend fully with a hand blender/immersion blender.

  2. Cover loosely and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

  3. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

Note: If you are following the 21-Day Sugar Detox, see this recipe for a 21DSD friendly ketchup recipe that uses slow cooked green apples as the sweetener.

Cold and Flu fighting Remedies (recipes included)

Fire cider is a traditional herbal tonic used to ward off colds and flus. The name literally describes it's contents: Fire (everything spicy) and Cider (apple cider vinegar). In the Nutritional Supplements class I took when completing my graduate degree, we made fire cider and elderberry syrup. Who says supplements can't be real food?


Over the last year every time myself or a friend were feeling a cold coming on, I gave/took 1-2 teaspoons of this fire cider and in less than 24 hours, we've all won the fight. This is because so many of the ingredients in fire cider are anti-microbial, enhance nutrient absorption or stimulate circulation.

Allium spices like garlic and onion are characterized by a rich content of sulfur-containing compounds like thiosulfinates. One of the ways these sulfur compounds boost immunity is by increasing the bioaccessibility of minerals like zinc, which is used as a cofactor in 300 different enzymes, including antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). It is also important for proper utilization of vitamin D and vitamin A and is required for immune cell replication. Taking advantage of sulfur compounds in food to enhance absorption of zinc is an example of "food synergy", a phenomena only seen in foods.

I made a variation from the recipe in Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health book.


Immune-Boosting Fire Cider


  • 1 quart size mason jar
  • Wax paper
  • Food processor
   This is what your filled jar should look like before adding the apple cider vinegar. I ended up transferring these contents to a quart-sized jar because there wasn't enough room at the top. 


This is what your filled jar should look like before adding the apple cider vinegar. I ended up transferring these contents to a quart-sized jar because there wasn't enough room at the top. 


Base ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated horseradish
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 jalapeños
  • Handful dried chili peppers, crushed 
  • 2 turmeric roots (or about 1 tbsp powdered turmeric)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • A few fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • Sliced orange/lemon peel
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 2 cups, apple cider vinegar

Other optional ingredients:


  1.  Add garlic, ginger, onion, and jalapeños to a food processor and chop. 
  2. Add all ingredients to your glass jar and fill to the top with apple cider vinegar. Be sure all the ingredients are well-covered to prevent spoilage. 
  3. Cut a square of wax paper large enough to cover the mouth of your jar.
  4. Place the lid on top of the wax paper and close tightly. This is so the acid doesn't eat at the metal on the lid.
  5. Shake daily for a minimum of 1 month and store in a dark, cool place.
  6. When ready to use, shake well and strain using cheesecloth.

Ways to enjoy Fire Cider:

  • As a spoonful. 1 tsp for prevention, 2-3 for treatment.
  • In salad dressings/vinaigrettes
  • In a stir fry


  1. Gautam S, Platel K, Srinivasan K. Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(14):8426-9.
  2. Jacobs DR, Gross MD, Tapsell LC. Food synergy: an operational concept for understanding nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1543S-1548S
  3. Kirk, Elizabeth. Micronutrients class notes. 2014. 
  4. Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health:175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family. Storey Publishing, LLC, 2008.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry is known for its antiviral, immune modulating and antioxidant properties. It has been tested against at least 13 different strains of the influenza virus and the outcomes were positive for killing these strains. Elderberries contain a constituent which has been found to inhibit hemagglutinin spikes on virus, preventing the virus from attaching to your cells and thus preventing replication. Elderberries also contain antioxidants called proanthocyanidins that help protect the cells against damage and help repair present damage. The effects of proanthocyanidins explain why we may experience a decrease in symptoms and shorter duration of the flu. This means elderberries can be used to prevent AND reduce the duration of the flu.


Homemade elderberry syrup, an immune boosting treat!

A photo posted by Anisa Woodall, MS CN (@anisawoodallnutrition) on

  • Medium saucepan
  • Sterilized bottle/jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine mesh strainer


  • 1 oz dried, or 3 oz fresh, Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 - 1 cup raw honey to preserve and sweeten


 Use 1/2 oz elderberry with 1/2 oz echinacea or astragalus

Yield: 1 cup concentrated decoction


  1. Add elderberries to cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering until the liquid reduces to 1 cup (half). You may measure the level by placing a chopstick into mixture and mark the line with a sharpie. Use this chopstick to see when the level has reduced by half.
  2. Once the liquid has reduced by half, use a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain and discard (compost) the herbs. Press out as much liquid as possible.
  3. For each cup of liquid add 1/2-1 cup honey. Gently stir until well mixed.
  4. Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles/jars, label and store in a cool dry place.



  1. Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal
  2. Herbal Syrups and Oxymiels handout. Nutrition Supplements. Jan 2015.

Immune-boosting Bone Broth

Fall is here! Winter is coming... #GOT anyone? 

Here in the Seattle area it's starting to cool off. Mornings are colder and you can feel the season turning. In our house, this means bone broth is being brewed on the regular. One of my favorite things about getting up in the morning is grabbing a cup of warm broth from the slow-cooker. That warm, soothing broth just feels SO nourishing! 

In a previous post for my Gut-Healing Golden Milk, I wrote about the gut-healing benefits of gelatin. Gelatin is extracted from the cartilage/collagen of animal bones in the broth-making process. The best way to know if you've made a gelatin-rich broth is to put it in the refrigerator and if it gelatinizes, it's gold.

This is what I mean by gold

This is what I mean by gold

A slow-brewed bone broth can be so nutrient-dense because you can put anything and everything in it! Save all of your kitchen scraps because you will get some great use out of them in this broth. When I say kitchen scraps that can be any of the following: kale/chard/collard stems, mushroom stems, carrot tops or peels, onion ends, celery ends, lemon peels, broccoli/cauliflower cores, etc. Get creative! Keep a bag of veggie scraps in the freezer and after using the rest of the vegetable, just throw your scraps in the bag. This is a great way to utilize the nutrients from foods you're already purchasing for further benefit.  

Adding eggshells and bones to your broth provides an amazing source of calcium and other bone-building minerals. Using apple cider vinegar is essential to create an acidic environment for those minerals to seep out of those foods and into the broth. This is important for those who avoid dairy products since it's a bit trickier to get enough calcium (though, not impossible!).  

To my broth, I add some other unique ingredients not found in "typical" broths and are great for immune and thyroid support.  

  • Seaweed (usually kombu or hijiki)
  • Astragalus 
  • Reishi mushroom
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Parsley

Let's review some of the primary body systems this broth can benefit:

  • Gelatin: GI tract, skin, hair, and nails, sleep
  • Egg shells and bones: bone health (you are what you eat!)
  • Veggie scraps: heart, brain, eyes, immune, detoxification, blood pressure
  • Mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and astragalus: immune
  • Seaweed: thyroid 
  • Parsley: detoxification, blood pressure
  • Kale: blood, bones, detoxification, heart, brain

So there you have it. A broth that supports almost all the systems! Please share this with your friends and followers if you think they'd like to give this a try.


Immune-Boosting Bone Broth

Yield: About 4 quarts

Preparation time: 5 minutes + 24-36 hours brew time

Equipment: Crockpot or large stockpot


  • 1-2 pounds of chicken, lamb, or beef bones (pastured or grass-fed preferred)
  • 1 onion, casually chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 leaves kale, chopped
  • 1 cup seaweed (Kombu or hijiki)
  • 5 "tongue depressors" of astragalus
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger
  • 5 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch parsley (including the ends)
  • 2 handfuls of vegetable scraps
  • Crushed eggshells (whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts water (or fill up your pot)


  1. Add all the ingredients to your slow-cooker or stockpot. 
  2. Heat on low for 24 hours and keep warm. 
  3. Strain to drink or use.
  4. You have a few options once it is ready:
  • You may choose to "keep warm" until you are finished consuming it.
  • Use it as a base for soups and stews.
  • Store in jars and refrigerate.
  • Freeze as ice blocks to use later.

Original recipe by Anisa Woodall